So this morning i had some thoughts. And today, gradually, the news coverage has rolled in; in the main, i think it has been positive.
The Independent has this to say in a generally fair an accurate portrayal of the circumstances. The Telegraph uses the word “force” which is language i think we need in the current climate of irritation with The Nanny State and CYPNow uses the word “blasts”. The BBC underlines that it is members of Parliament who are supporting us while The Guardian gives more voice to the recent accusation of bullying by Ed Balls and uses the phrase “scaled back” – bringing this into line with the Vetting and Barring Bill. Again, i believe that to be a link to other invasive law making that we cannot afford to throw away – we need people to see the link. The truth is, this is not about what is real or true, this battle, much as i hate the phrase, is a ‘hearts and minds’ one. Our politics is all about popular appeal and we need the tide of public opinion to turn away from “are they abusers” to “these are people who are being invaded”.
It is that which i think we won today. We didn’t win much, but i think we won a perception battle – we look unfairly treated and our arguments have been backed up by MPs who have surveyed evidence – and the government, Ed Balls in particular, looks like an invasive control freak who has gone too far. What we have is a piece of firm ground under our feet, after months of quicksand. We have to use it.
There is one other important point i wish to make. I do NOT think that “scaled back, all that is reasonable and okay and for the best”. I do not agree with registration, licensing, planning in advance, interviewing my children alone. I’ll continue to fight against watered down versions of that because i disagree ideologically and i also think it is simply pointless time and money wasting. I don’t think i can put one of those above the other – i disagree equally on both counts.
BUT. I’ve been known to the LA for 6 years. It was foisted on me by someone who reported me for HEing. In 6 years there has been nothing voluntary about my contact with them; they phoned, i was known. I moved, they used council records to find me. I fended them off with tiresome reports, i fended off lies about my rights, i fended off visits, i accepted visits when they became clearly a less bothersome way of dealing with it. We’re making much of the unknowns who want to stay unknown – i’m fighting for them but actually, for me, a voluntary registration would be potentially a lot less bother than what i have to deal with now. I get nothing useful from my compulsory “being known” – i can’t make myself unknown and i can’t really resist them because all the things we fear already exist if i do. I’m already jumping through hoops for no resources, no helpful advice, no useful input or things i wouldn’t have thought of. Frankly, for this family, a voluntary registration system would be an improvement. I don’t even know if, realistically, it would be much different to what we have already.
But i’ll keep fighting for there to be nothing of the sort, because not only do i want the greater good but i know perfectly well, thanks, that if i accept one thing, it will lead to another. I know perfectly well that what will work well in the hands of one LA will be a weapon in the hands of another, i know perfectly well that what one LA man sees as workable in this middle class, nice area house with lots of books might make him feel differently in a house where the education is as good or better but the superficial layers look less inviting.
I still think we were handed a slightly wobbly stone in the middle of a raging river today – and i’m going to make the most of it.
Firmer Footing For Fighting. 4 F’s against the 3 B’s.
“Badman, Balls and Brown,
They make us want to frown,
The want to edit the laws for home edding
And it’s really getting us down!!!”
(By Maddy, with thanks to Roald Dahl)